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Thread Like Summary
Total Likes: 2
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Bullhead
One of my ponds has been drained and work to clean out the muck is supposed to commence soon. Another is (I hope) as low as it is ever going to be, so I thought I would take this opportunity to set some posts for future docks.
If I use 4x4 or 6x6 CCA how long can I expect it to last?
The ponds are dry enough that I should be able to drive a tractor and post hole digger to the shore to set the posts a few feet in the ground. Should I pour some concrete around them, or will dirt be good enough?
Liked Replies
by Brettski
You will get the entire gamut of responses on proper installation. For me, it's a hybrid of what I consider best practices.
Agreed with Ghostown: the vertical compressive force is critical, so an increased footprint is needed. A concrete mass on firm subsoil works well and is the cheapest....a concrete pier. Putting a fence post in a hole (elevated off the bottom with a brick or similar) and concrete poured around it is fine. Not so, IMHO, for a well designed support of significant vertical pressure (weight). I prefer to see a concrete footing, independent of the structure or post it will support. Adding some rebar vert's and 3 or 4 ties is cheap insurance, particularly if the post it is going to support may be subjected to shear forces of wind blown ice floes. The top of the concrete pier would have a stout metal bracket to link the pier to the post above. Regarding projected life of green-treat, my studies show .6 retention suitable for submersion in fresh water. I don't recall the life expectancy, but using the above mentioned method of support will allow reasonably easy repair and/or replace of a rotted timber in the future.
1 member likes this
by catmandoo
Just maybe -- think about wheels.

I grew up where the winters were just plain fierce -- actually, I just got back from there a few hours ago. The north and south shores of western Lakes Superior are beautiful much of the year, but the winter ice can really reek havoc on inland lake docks in that area.

When I was a kid we made dock ends that had old implement wheels, like those from old horse-drawn plows and hay rakes. We could pull them out in the fall, and roll them back in the spring.

We couldn't have a family get-together yesterday in Northern MN and WI because all my relatives and close friends figured it was the weekend to pull the docks, shut down the wells, and winterize the outhouses.

The newer docks in that area use commercial dock wheels from places like Mennards, Cabelas, and many other places.

Here is a link to what I'm referring to:

Dock Wheels w

Most are made from some pretty tough and impervious material that has a standard 1-3/4 inch diameter axle hole. They can be permanent, or they can be pulled before the ice starts to form, and put back when the ice melts for the season.

A properly built 24 to 36 foot long dock can be pushed/pulled into/out-of the water by two young guys, or five or six real strong dudes who are my age. It is even easier if you have a tractor.

In my lifetime, I've also put in a lot of docks other ways. Just yesterday, in Northern Wisconsin, I watched my nephew pushing 12-foot tamarack poles into the edge of the water in a swamp at the edge of one of his cattle pastures. He was doing with with his track hoe. He pushed them at least 6-foot into the soil with the track hoe bucket.

I've also used the "out" hose of a trash pump with pieces of pipe at the end, to make holes for poles, and then dribbled really dry concrete mix around the post when it was in place.

Cecil has put poles in during ice-over by cutting holes in the ice, and driving the poles into the pond bottoms.

There are many ways to skin a catfish.
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